How intrigued are you to work with tight end D.C. Jefferson?
I'll tell you. I'm excited about the opportunity. I had a chance to meet the guys over the last couple of days, and watching them work out, and I'm just impressed with how hard they are working and the program that exists here at Rutgers.
I'm excited. I haven't gotten too much as far as watching them in their football drills (on tape), but I'm certainly impressed with their work ethic in the weight room and down with the strength coaches.
Can you discuss working in tandem with Rutgers offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti, who also came from Pittsburgh?
Obviously, Frank and I worked together for two years at Pitt, and we share a lot of the same beliefs offensively as far as what we do, and how to attack people. There's a lot of consistency as far as installation of the offense, and obviously Frank and I have a good relationship, and I believe we work well together.
Certainly, I want to be an asset to him any way that I can to implement the system and get things started here this spring.
What are your philosophies on how you take to recruiting?
I don't know other than to me, just identifying kids and really just building relationships. I think anything you do is about building relationships and it all starts with trust. They want to believe they can trust you and what you're saying to them is the truth.
And, certainly, you want trust from the kids. You want to make sure that a kid you're dealing with are ones that high character and that starts with trust and building relationships. That's really, to me, all it is and I think if you're honest up front, and you are who you are, people see that and it may be a fit for some, and for some others it may not.
I just think to believe in what you're doing and work hard.
What do you see in Jefferson on film, and how you can maximize his talent?
I'll be honest with you, I haven't watched (game film), other than last fall, obviously seeing game film from studying other opponents. Obviously, he's aggressive. He has the physical characteristics. You can see that he can run, and he can do some things. I'm excited. There's no doubt about it. I'm excited.
As I told him, Hey, it's comes down to what do we see on tape and getting out there and working, and I'm going to do everything I can to put him in the best position to be successful. We can't forget now, this kid has only been playing tight end for two years, and I think what he's done in the last two years, and how far he's grown, has certainly been impressive for a guy that's ever been in a 3-point stance.
So, coaches that have worked with him in the past have done an outstanding job, and I'm just excited to continue what they've done.
Is it strange to find you are on a new staff with two of the guys you worked with at Pittsburgh with Cignetti and defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley?
I don't put much thought in that. It's just a fit as far as being in the Big East conference, the recruiting. Typically, when you look at staffs and conferences and areas, I think with the relationships and the familiarity, you see that. But I'm just thankful for the opportunity, and ready to get going this spring."
Is the goal this spring to make the tight ends productive?
"In Frank's offense, and the offenses that we run, certainly the tight end is a focal point, and someone that you need to be successful for the offense to run. So, certainly, that's a priority, and we're going to demand that they do a lot as far as in protection, as far as in the passing game, as far as in their blocking.
"So, they have to be really an overall football player and they are a big part of what we want to do. And, certainly, we want to try to get the most out of them to get this system up and running."